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Using Your Hands to Shape Your Shots

Only the very best players in the world have become great hand shapers of the golf ball. Consider Nick Faldo at the peak of his career in the late 80s/early 90s, Tiger Woods, and Bubba Watson in the modern game. Learning how to draw and fade the ball using your hands is an advanced tip but try it out and see what you can do. I’ll get you started with 2 main things to focus on: grip and hands.


Using your hands to shape the ball is definitely for only the most advanced golfers. Think of this method as the most creative but also the hardest to control.

To hit a draw (right to left for a right hander), you will need to align your club and body to the right of your target on the intended start line. You will make your normal swing; the only difference will be through impact. Faldo described how he would ‘soften’ his forearms through impact to help roll or rotate the club to produce the desired result. Using tennis as an example, a hand produced draw would be comparable to a topspin forehand shot, the right hand rolls over through the hit producing the desired curve.

To hit a fade using your hands, you want to start by aligning your club face and body to the left of your target where you want the ball to start. We will use a tennis analogy again. Instead of the topspin forehand, this time you want to imagine you’re hitting a forehand drop shot. Through impact, you want to undercut the ball slightly to delay the release. This will produce a left to right ball flight.

Again, this is an advanced move. While I advise on most shots around the greens to remain quiet with your hands and arms it can be fun to experiment. Play around with these two methods on your short shots sometimes to see what you can do with a golf ball.

Written by
Brad Smith
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Written by Brad Smith